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Shutdown: 8 things you can’t do

By Mark Hamrick ·
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Posted: 2 pm ET

With the failure of Congress and the president to come to an agreement on a budget, the federal government began a partial shutdown as the new fiscal year began Oct. 1. "Nonessential" federal workers have been furloughed, and many services Americans rely upon are affected.

But what are some of the things you won't be able to do? We've compiled a short list.

  1. You won't be able to visit a national park. Not only are the parks closed, but the National Park Service website has been taken offline. This includes monuments such as the Statue of Liberty, others in Washington, D.C., as well as parks across the U.S. such as Yosemite, which is celebrating its 123rd anniversary as a national park.
  2. No national museums either. Had you planned on visiting the the Smithsonian Institution this weekend? Think again. Although billed as the world's largest museum and research complex, including the National Zoo, its facilities around Washington, D.C., as well as two facilities in New York, are all closed.
  3. You won't be able to watch the panda cam! Thanks to the shutdown, your daily afternoon pick-me-up of watching baby pandas waddle around has been taken away. While some members of Congress joked that the National Zoo's panda cam live stream will be a casualty of the government shutdown, it actually is offline. If you have your heart set on watching animals in real time, the San Diego Zoo has several available to fill the void.
  4. No calling the Internal Revenue Service for free income tax help. "Hi, you've reached the IRS call center. Sorry we're not here to take your call right now; our government arm has been shut down." While this isn't the exact message, the Internal Revenue Service does have a recorded message indicating that all IRS offices are closed. At last check, the IRS website was operating.
  5. Good luck getting a new or replacement Social Security card. Want to replace your Medicare card? Sorry, you can't get that either. Thankfully, Social Security payments will continue as before -- at least for the time being.
  6. That first trip overseas may need to be postponed. If you'd planned on stopping by a local passport office to submit a new application, you're out of luck. While expedited passports already in the system are still being processed, new applications aren't being taken. You're stuck stateside till all this passes.
  7. No business loans from the Small Business Administration. Would-be entrepreneurs will have to look elsewhere because the SBA is one of the government arms that have closed.
  8. That research paper on Abe Lincoln will have to wait. All of the locations associated with the National Archives, including presidential libraries, are closed.

Follow me on Twitter: @hamrickisms.

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October 13, 2013 at 7:36 pm

There is a reason for our three branches of government - called checks and balances, so no one or two branches can o verride the third. This means negotiation, common sense and diplomacy. Any branch that has the arrogance to ignore another and refuse to negotiate is a perversion of our democracy. Harry Reid and O'bama are prime examples of deficit leadership, arrogance and failure to perform their elected responsibilities - and they are still accountable to ALL American citizens, not just those who voted for them. This country belongs to all American citizens, not them. When they decicide to become dictators is time for them to go!

October 13, 2013 at 3:35 pm

i think all the free loaders in the white house need to know that they were voted in to do a job, not to shut the goverment down because they the dem. and rep. both want to be in charge, neither of you morons are. i cannot wait for the next election. i have always voted rep. until this election i will never help put a tea party rep. in the white house, they are totaly ruining the rep. party. why can`t the rep. see this, if you are not tea party then you hate every thing they stand for, so keep up your really bad job totaly ruining our country,as of now you are doing a really good job,hope your proud. i vote to stop paying everyone in goverment ,until they remember what they are doing there. it`s our lives people,, it`s time we did something to help ourselves the goverment is not, and will not do anything for America

Daniel W.
October 13, 2013 at 3:28 pm

The way I see it, this is going to go down one of two ways:
1) Congress will get ANOTHER short term deal arranged, as to postpone any default and kick the can down the road.
2) Congress will act like children and not negotiate in such a way to actually get a short-term deal, and will force a default.
I would prefer the default route now, because it will be $1 trillion less painful. I have lost faith in Congress. The only way that it will be practical to spend $200 million less each day is to cut down on the military; we don't need a military this large.

Floyd W
October 13, 2013 at 1:17 pm

If Mrs. Goff prayers need more help, we will ask Rev. Michael Goff to come to the rescue. I heard Michael preach when he was going to Jacksonville Baptist College, Jacksonville, Tx, when he preached in Fairfield, Texas at Calvary Baptist Church. We need more Christians, and I do no mean racial Christians, to pray and get their people in the Congress to stay the grounds against the current President that is using everyone in the USA for his own purposes. Forget you racial problems and pray to God Almighty.

October 13, 2013 at 12:26 pm

The republicans will have to realize that this country HAD an ELECTION and in spite of their efforts to skew the results, the majority of Americans decided that President Obama (and his agenda) deserved a second term. Republicans need to get over it and behave as adults. It is a well known fact that they decided with his first successful election, that they would do whatever was necessary to obstruct or cause his administration to fail. Under republican administration, I was a victim of "Outsourcing" from a 32 year corporate job in private industry. Now a government worker, I have already given several days in sequester pay (not replaceable) and now I am furloughed. I thought that America's national policy was clear - we don't negotiate with terrorists, foreign or domestic. What happened to government by "We the People". We were pulled back from the republican economic disaster and American has been on the road to recovery. Honest people know this. Both sides do not deserve equal blame in this one.

October 13, 2013 at 11:59 am

I am looking for a rebate on my taxes due to no service.

October 13, 2013 at 11:39 am

It is quite disturbing to realize that we the people (THE MASTERS) are letting the servants (THE PEOPLE WE PAY) continue to mess-up the country and we continue to keep them employed.
It's time to fire the booms and get smart people to run the country. my list start with (John, Tom, pall,) Those K. K. K. may run their house by giving their wives allowance for a day. This Country and President deserve to have a regular budget as was the norm when white Presidents was in the white House. Stop running the country into the ground because you are blinded by racial bias. President Obama is a Good, Smart, Love America, AMERICAN President; Stop play politics and give him the BUDGET he needs to run the country.

October 13, 2013 at 11:12 am

Congress and Obama are forgetting that the disabled veterans will not get paid if they wont stop the shutdown and/or raise the deficit monies.

susie goff
October 13, 2013 at 10:05 am

if the nation would pray to god .one nation under god this mess would get fixed.god cares for his children.

October 13, 2013 at 8:41 am